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Badgers shine at Ben Castro Invitational

 
October 4, 2021
 
Tyler Warner photo
Runners bringing home medals from the Ben Castro Invitational in Pinehurst were (l-r) Jaden Byars, Sydney Beckle, Connor Alexander and Ceci Roemer.


Camille Ussher photo
Elizabeth Bourassa pushes toward her fastest time
of the season Thursday at the Ben Castro Invite.
Sunny skies and warm temperatures were a welcome sight to the competitors at Thursday's Ben Castro Invitational at Pinehurst Golf Course, hosted by Kellogg High School. The two loop course is mostly natural surfaces, circumnavigating the perimeter of the course, but also featured some interesting turns and changes from gravel to grass to bare ground.

The course is notorious for fast times if one is able to "stay awake," but due to the monotony of certain sections of the course it can lull runners into disappointing missed opportunities.

Other meet attendees included Immaculate Conception Academy, Lakeland, Timberlake, Coeur d'Alene Charter and host school Kellogg.

As has been the case in recent weeks, the Badgers continued to post increasingly fast times and did not fall prey to the dullness of certain sections of the course.

The girls race started off the afternoon of rapid 5k times.

Elizabeth Bourassa posted her fastest time of the season, 34:27 for a 29th place finish, pushing Lily Owens to a new 34:26 PR in just her second race. Lilana Brinkman also came out of the meet with a new season best time of 27:14.

The remaining four scoring runners all posted new PRs. Jaden Byars crossed at 24:03 in 10th place, behind freshman Sydney Beckle who finished in 23:36 and eighth place. Ceci Roemer led the way for the Badgers, finishing second, with her first PR in two years at 21:15.

The girls finished in second behind CdA Charter.

"We were hampered a bit by injuries to Leah Moellmer and Camille Ussher," Badger Coach Tyler Warner said. "Both are working with a positive attitude towards recovery and I expect to see them at least give Lewiston a try this weekend. Looking on Athletic.net, based on season best times, we now have a two point edge over Charter, which is exciting for a girls team that has not had a district championship since 2007. We talked about it at practice last week, they know there is a chance to do something special at districts on the 21st. Now it's a matter of putting work in and staying healthy or getting healthy enough to actually do it."

Camille Ussher photo
Ryan Beckle posted a personal record 20:39.
The boys race featured the fastest times of the day, led for most of the race by Connor Alexander. Connor came into the season with a goal of breaking under 17 minutes for 5k. He's been extremely driven this year to get under that time limit and put in a lot of work in spring track and over the summer to get to this point.

He ultimately finished in second behind a strong surge from ICA's Kellen Souza, who did not let Connor pull away from him like he did at Priest River. Still, Connor was able to post a time of 16:52, a prize he coveted more than getting first at this meet.

"I will note here that athletic.net contains one error that has yet to be updated, so the next runner for Bonners Ferry is Collin Fairchild at 19:00, just ahead of Levi Bonnell at 19:01," Warner said.

Justin Strugar crossed just behind Bonnell at 19:11. Wyatt Smith continues an impressive season of chipping away at his PR by dropping down to 19:20. Ryan Beckle also posted a PR at 20:39. Carson Dineen had a season best time of 22:04. Rounding out the day of PR's for the boys were both Ian Williams and Chase Xitco at 22:52 and 24:55 respectively.

In total, eight of the nine boys competing had a new PR.

In team scoring the Badgers finished fourth behind ICA, Charter and Timberlake, putting them at third among IML teams.

This Saturday the Badgers make the long trip to Lewiston for the Inland Empire Challenge, which also historically has produced big PRs late in the season. It also has the potential to be the overall largest meet of the year for them, with 30 high schools currently registered to attend. This will be our last regular meet before Districts on October 21.

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Mike Weland, Publisher
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